First, to the offside rule; other than this, everything else is pretty straightforward. To quote from Wikipedia, “...if a player is in an offside position when the ball is touched or played by a team mate, he may not become actively involved in the play. A player is in an offside position if he is closer to the opponent's goal line than both the ball and the second-to-last defender, but only if the player is on his opponent's half of the field (pitch).”
The first sentence will be confusing, because the term “actively involved” is so open-ended and, therefore, subject to personal interpretation by officials, players and spectators. The second sentence, meanwhile, defines what an offside position is. Before anything else, for those who are novices to sport, a team’s half of the field is that which its players defend.
Take a look at the picture below:
The second most common statement I have been told over the years is that, in football, it takes an eternity to score a goal. This is hardly surprising considering that most who uttered this statement were basketball fans who had never made an effort to understand football. Basketball is, of course, a high-scoring game.
To watch a football match, one has to go with the ebb and flow of the game rather than just wait for a goal to be scored. In fact, some goalless draws can be totally fascinating. Watching a football game is like watching a movie. You cannot even make a quick dash to the washroom because that may be when a goal is scored.
Football is about time and space. A player who is attacking needs space because he will also have the time to receive the ball, look around for his teammates, size up the current situation within a split second and then decide to either pass or shoot at goal. For a player who is defending, it is exactly the opposite. His job is to deny his opponent the time and space that he needs.
To score goals, any team needs chances. Thus, judging the dominance of one team over another is not so much based on how long it holds onto the ball or the amount of its ball possession; rather, dominance is really judged on the basis of the number of clear scoring opportunities a team creates for itself.
By clear scoring opportunities, I refer to shots that can actually lead to goal. For starters, a shot must be of the sort that makes the ball travel towards the frame of the goal. Anything less accurate has no chance of becoming a goal, for obvious reasons. The shot must also have the right sort of power; else it becomes practice for the goalkeeper. Finally, it must be the sort that will make the goalkeeper exert himself; that is, force him to make a save.
Indonesia Has Not Won This Yet!
Quiet Indonesians! It’s the Lupang Hinirang!